Some days you can be in the city and truly have one of those “I Heart NY” days and figure you could never live anywhere else. This was not one of those days. In fact, I could have been very comfortable in a “Get Me The Fuck Out Of Here” T-shirt and goth eyeliner.
It started pleasantly enough – Scott, Diane and I had a nice afternoon thwacking golf balls into the Hudson (or at least into the net) at the Chelsea Piers Golf Center, where I discovered why my stroke has sucked for so long. From there, I went to the “town meeting” for the 24-hour Plays, which was pleasantly casual but a little long – Lindsay did a good job trying to keep the group “on message,” but some of the vocal members of the audience sorta diluted the focus.
My problems began at the art opening for “Graphic,” which was put together by Rick Gradone, his boyfriend Jamie, the twins, and his old roommate Nicki. Don’t get me wrong, it was fantastic seeing Rick, and I found most of the pieces there fabulously arresting – like most cutting-edge multimedia affairs, it’s not art that you’d necessarily put in the living room of your guest house, but it’s work to be stared at and ingested.
one of the twins’ fabulous quilt work, actually an aerial view of a small town in Germany
But the crowd – O! the crowd. The worst sorts of early-20s morons, gaggles of hipster boys in pleather, super-hot East Village chicks with stylishly crooked teeth, and my least favorite clique: the inevitable Upper East Side bitches working in P.R., wearing their oh-so-1997 asymmetrical dresses, having autism-inspiring conversations with their lunkhead college friends, desperately pleased with themselves because they’re At An Art Opening in Manhattan.
One such ferocious, anorexic nightmare approached me while I was watching Nicki’s movie “Faux Paws” and said, “I just want to thank you for spilling my drink on me.” It was so awful that I thought she was kidding. “Are you serious?” I said. She must have been saving that little ditty up for about ten minutes, which made it seem even more incredible. “Yes, I’m serious. You backed into me and made me spill my drink, and I just wanted to thank you,” she said, pointing to a silver-dollar sized wet spot on the front of her shirt. Her friends gathered around her. What incisive sarcasm.
Keep in mind that the crowd there was huge, that there was nowhere for anyone to walk, not to mention SHE’S IN NEW YORK FUCKING CITY, FOR CHRISSAKES! LEARN TO ROLL WITH IT, YOU COW! IT’S A BIG CITY AND THERE ARE A LOT OF US HERE!!! I tried not to let it bother me, but I wanted to slug her. Better yet, I wanted to force her to wear her most expensive Marc Jacobs outfit, hogtie her to a telephone pole, get a water cannon full of triple sec and vodka, and fire 700 million cubic liters of liquor at her body.
I mean, I already feel uncomfortable and ungainly at these things, like I’m ten pounds too girthy to be cool. And I’m there by myself, which ratchets up the “creepy” factor by a few notches. I tried my best to stay out of everyone’s way. But this fucking twat has to come across a crowded room, bring her friends with her, and talk to me like that, mainly because I’m probably not attractive enough to warrant a pass. I’m the guy with the weird hair, wandering through the party alone. I left the party so fucking mad I could put my fist through the wall, although I promised Tessa long ago I wouldn’t do that anymore.
What the hell are we doing in New York? We’ve agreed to stay here in the middle of the terrorist bulls-eye, breathing bus fumes and dealing with 6-month winters because we wanted to be in and around a thriving “art scene” with our peers. But if this is the kind of people we have to stomach, if this is our “community,” then I’d rather live on a pumpkin farm. I can deal with the vicissitudes of my chosen business (film) because I know the depth of cynicism needed. I can deal with the arbitrariness of literary success. I can deal with Bad Art, because at least they’re trying. I can even deal with rednecks, anti-intellectuals and drama queens. What I cannot deal with is rudeness, especially the low-rent rudeness of today’s belligerently asinine 24-year-old.
What the fuck happened to people born around 1980? I mean, people in my age group (around 1970) may have rejected the canon in favor of more individual and surreal pursuits, but at least we knew the canon. The kids coming out of college over the last few years were spoiled rotten by the dot-com boom, rendered artistically illiterate by the spate of awful pop songs and treacherously bad movies coming down the pike, and live a life of almost criminal, onanistic self-involvement. I can’t stand them; they’re not funny. They will not have one original idea among them until they begin to pass away in the late 2060s. I don’t care if I sound like an old fart from the Victrola era waxing philosophic about “kids today” – all I know is I would never have dreamed in a million years to go up to a stranger and sarcastically thank them for spilling a small portion of my drink in a crowded room. FUCK YOU, YOU GAMINE HAG BITCH!!!
Then I spent 2 solid hours on the BQE trying to get home.